ERJ staff report (AN)
DETROIT -- The auto parts supplier fingered in Toyota Motor Corp.'s recent recall for faulty accelerator pedals says it built parts to the automaker's specifications and says it has no knowledge that its parts were responsible for any accidents or injuries.
CTS Corp. continues to supply its accelerator modules to Toyota, and the Elkhart, Ind. supplier has no knowledge of any Toyota plan for increased production of a new design to meet additional demand for replacement parts, Mitchell Walorski, head of CTS investor relations, said.
After a Jan. 21 recall, Toyota said yesterday that it would halt sales of eight of its most popular models in the United States because of fears that sticking accelerator pedals may cause its vehicles to accelerate unintentionally.
Mitchell Walorski, head of CTS Corp. investor relations, said the Elkhart, Ind., supplier is not part of the problem. CTS has â€œno knowledge of any accident or injuryâ€ stemming from the accelerator assemblies it supplies Toyota, he said.
Walorski told Automotive News today that CTS engineers are assisting Toyota, â€œbut this is their recall.â€ CTS was not consulted about Toyota's decision to issue the recall or to halt certain vehicles' sales, he said.
In a separate statement, CTS said the company has been working with Toyota to develop a new pedal to meet tougher specifications from Toyota.
â€œThe newly designed pedal is now tested, and parts are beginning to ship to some Toyota factories,â€ CTS said.
Toyota described the cause of the recall as â€œa rare set of conditions which may cause the accelerator pedal to become harder to depress, slower to return or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position.â€ Toyota said this condition â€œis rare and occurs gradually over a period of time.â€
Based on information from Toyota, CTS said, â€œWe are aware of fewer than a dozen instances where this condition has occurred, and in no instance did the accelerator actually become stuck in a partially depressed condition.â€
A Toyota spokesman could not immediately be reached to comment on CTS' role in the recall. A Toyota spokesman earlier confirmed that the components were made in Canada by CTS.
Walorski said CTS works closely to Toyota specifications, adding: â€œToyota is heavily involved in all stages of testing and production. That is why their quality is so high.â€
CTS recorded 2008 sales of $691.7 million, with about 3 percent of that going to Toyota. CTS designs and manufactures sensors and actuators, including accelerator-pedal modules, at its plant in Mississauga, Ontario, according to the CTS Web site.
Asked how CTS feels about being in the limelight of Toyota's troubles, Walorski said, â€œIt doesn't feel good.â€
From Automotive News (A Crain publication)